[OSM-dev] Experimenting with ClearTables, self-hosted vector tiles, and Tangram client-side rendering

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Wed Aug 24 06:30:59 UTC 2016

I've been experimenting with generating my own vector tiles and
client-side rendering with Tangram[1] in order to figure out how to best
write its styling language.

Tangram is a GL-based renderer written by Mapzen and normally used with
their Tilezen[2] vector tiles, but I'm interested in being able to make
my own vector tiles and different cartographic choices. I also consider
diversity of vector tile schemas important. I hope to avoid a situation
where only large players in the market can get involved like we have
right now.

For a toolchain I used osm2pgsql with ClearTables[3] and Mapnik via
Kosmtik[4] to write vector tiles. On the demo I'm serving the tiles with
Apache but in development I used Kosmtik because it's xray functionality
is useful. For development I worked in Tangram Play, a web-based editor
that automatically reloads the map when you change the style.

The cartography and vector tile definitions are loosely based on OSM
Clear[5], a demo style I wrote. As it's a learning exercise I don't
consider the style complete or free of bugs.

The demo page is on my server at
http://tangram-clear-demo.faramir.paulnorman.ca/ with the style and
vector tile code at https://github.com/ClearTables/tangram-clear-demo.

I'm not sure what direction I'm going to take next as I don't have any
particular style goals right now, or collaborators.

[1] https://mapzen.com/products/tangram/
[2] https://mapzen.com/projects/vector-tiles/
[3] https://github.com/ClearTables/ClearTables
[4] https://github.com/kosmtik/kosmtik
[5] https://github.com/ClearTables/osm-clear

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